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Book Title: Jerusalem Delivered|
The author of the book: Torquato Tasso
ISBN 13: 9780801863233
Edition: Johns Hopkins University Press
Date of issue: July 10th 2000
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 3.32 MB
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Arguably the greatest Italian poet after Dante, Torquato Tasso was born in Sorrento in 1544 and died in Rome in 1595, having served as the court poet in Ferrara, been confined for years in a madhouse after attacking a servant with a knife, and composed one of the great works of Renaissance literature.
Unjustly neglected today, Tasso's epic poem 'Jerusalem Delivered'(first published in 1581) is set in the 11th century and tells the story of the First Crusade and the siege which gave Christian armies control over Jerusalem and the Holy Lands for a time.
As in other epic poems, 'Jerusalem Delivered' deftly mixes history and myth. Tasso's heroes - Godfrey, leader of the Christian armies; Rinaldo, bravest of the Christian warriors; and Tancred, the Italian prince who falls in love with the pagan warrioress Clorinda, whom he eventually (and
simultaneously) converts and kills - must face not only the Saracens and their allies, but also a host of fearsome and manipulative devils, demons, and sorcerers.
This is a sweeping and often thrilling tale of war, faith, love, and sex that easily rivals its classical predecessors. Writing at a time when Christianity was bitterly divided, Tasso was naturally concerned with the nature of leadership and loyalty, with the importance of sacrifice, with the evils of corruption, and with the existence of truth, themes that continue to resonate today.
No wonder that for three centuries, 'Jerusalem Delivered' was considered the great modern epic. Indeed, Spenser borrowed scenes and episodes from this poem in writing the 'Faerie Queen', and Milton was greatly influenced by Tasso when writing his own Christian epic, 'Paradise Lost'.
English-language readers who are familiar with Tasso's grand romance have until now known it only through a verse translation by English poet Edward Fairfax published in 1600. In order to fit Tasso's stanzas into the then popular Spenserian verse form, Fairfax had to alter the original poem considerably.
Now, 400 years later, Anthony Esolen presents a new translation that transforms 'Jerusalem Delivered' into an English-language masterpiece. The first major verse translation into English since Fairfax's, Esolen's version is both more true to its original source and more fluid than that of his
Esolen has translated 'Jerusalem Delivered' with the care of poet, capturing the delight of Tasso's descriptions, the different voices of its cast of characters, the shadings
between glory and tragedy, and does them all in an English as powerful as Tasso's Italian.
Esolen's will immediately be acclaimed as the definitive translation of this powerful work of faith and war. Like the
Fagles 'Iliad' and 'Odyssey', the Pinsky 'Inferno', and Seamus Heaney's imaginative new rendering of 'Beowulf', Anthony Esolen's bold, fast-moving, and faithful translation of Tasso's
Crusade-era adventure will introduce a new generation of readers to a masterpiece of world literature.
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Read information about the authorTorquato Tasso (11 March 1544 – 25 April 1595) was an Italian poet of the 16th century, best known for his poem La Gerusalemme liberata (Jerusalem Delivered) (1580), in which he depicts a highly imaginative version of the combats between Christians and Muslims at the end of the First Crusade, during the siege of Jerusalem. He died a few days before he was due to be crowned as the king of poets by the Pope. Until the beginning of the 19th century, Tasso remained one of the most widely read poets in Europe.
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